From traffic accidents to faulty vehicles, fleet operations carry a number of risks. Accidents do happen, but there are steps you can take to reduce these associated risks and make your fleet a safer one.
One way fleet operators can improve the safety of their fleet is by establishing policies, procedures, or guidelines fleet drivers are expected to follow at all times. For example, the Nonprofit Risk Management Center’s Fleet Safety Toolkit recommends creating a driving policy that follow standards set forth by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, such as always driving within the speed limit and avoiding operating the vehicle when fatigued, as well as requiring drivers to wear seatbelts.
Another way to ensure a safe fleet is to establish guidelines that determine when it is safe for a staff member to operate a vehicle on behalf of the company. Guidelines such as these could include procedures on how to determine whether or not the trip is necessary and when to postpone trips as a result of adverse weather conditions. The Work Safe Center also suggests creating policies for pre-and-post trip vehicle inspections, reporting accidents, substance abuse, cell phone usage, and violation of reporting.
It also helps increase the safety of your fleet drivers, as well as their vehicles, to have a fleet safety checklist in place. This checklist can be a resource for drivers to use as they prepare to head out on the road or return from a trip. Safety points to add to your checklist can include the following.
- Vehicle Inspection: The article “The Safety Checklist on a Fleet Vehicle” recommends that drivers give their vehicle a good inspection prior to operating it because “this individual is the last person to have control on whether or not the vehicle is safe to use.” Vehicle inspections can include, but aren’t limited to, checking the breaks, lights, mirrors, and steering.
- Vehicle Maintenance: The Nonprofit Risk Center suggests checking fleet vehicles often for signs of needed maintenance or repairs, such as tire rotation and exhaust system leaks.
- Documentation: Vehicle inspections and maintenance should always be documented, as this will help keep track of when vehicles were serviced, as well as keep records for miles traveled, mechanical problems, breakdowns, etc.
- Make Sure Emergency Equipment is Available: Before starting the engine, drivers should also make sure they are prepared for an emergency. Fleet vehicles should have a well-stocked first aid kit, as well as jumper cables, flares, and other emergency vehicle care items.
To further increase safety among your drivers and overall fleet operations, offer driver safety training that includes an end-of-course test to determine the current status of your operations. Lamb Financial Group offers Driver Safety Training sessions based on the needs of your organization. Contact us to learn more about how we can help improve the safety of your fleet drivers and how trained drivers can help lower your insurance rates.